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Sportswrap: Football earns road win, women's soccer falls to North Carolina

Duke football won its road opener Saturday against Northwestern in a game that came down to the wire.
Duke football won its road opener Saturday against Northwestern in a game that came down to the wire.

Sportswrap is your one-stop shop for everything Duke athletics, where we’ll recap how each of Duke’s sports currently in competition performed over the last week and give a brief look ahead. Here’s our recap for the week of Sept. 5-11.


Duke hit the road Saturday to take on Northwestern in Evanston, Ill. Even after their rout of Temple in the season opener, the Blue Devils (2-0) entered the game as 10-point underdogs. They had other plans, however, and sprinted ahead to a 21-0 lead just seconds into the second quarter. While the Wildcats did mount a strong comeback effort, a last-second forced fumble on the goal line by Jaylen Stinson secured the 31-23 Duke victory. The win was driven by explosive, long-yardage offensive plays like an 81-yard Eli Pancol reception and a 42-yard Jordan Waters touchdown run. The Blue Devils now return home to Wallace Wade Stadium to take on North Carolina A&T Saturday at 6 p.m. -Rachael Kaplan

Women's soccer

The third-ranked Blue Devils hosted No. 2 North Carolina Thursday night for their last of three straight contests against top-10 teams. The local rivals began the game slow with just two shots on goal in the first 30 minutes, both from players donning the lighter shade of blue. Unfortunately for Duke (5-2), North Carolina persisted in the second half and went on to take 10 second-half shots to the Blue Devils’ one. The Tar Heels got two additional goals and closed the night with a 3-0 victory. Duke looks to rebound in a Sept. 17 matchup at Syracuse. -Ana Young

Men's soccer

It took a fight and plenty of nervy moments, but the seventh-ranked Blue Devils dug deep and earned their fourth consecutive win Saturday at No. 10 Louisville. Despite conceding its first goal of the year to go down 1-0, goals courtesy of sophomores Jai Bean and Shakur Mohammed brought the game back and kept Duke head coach John Kerr and his squad unbeaten. It was not the cleanest game the Blue Devils (4-0) have played, but a win against a talented conference foe is nothing to scoff at. Momentum is momentum, after all, especially as a Friday date with rival North Carolina looms. -Andrew Long


Duke bested Michigan in four sets Friday evening as senior Gracie Johnson racked up 28 kills, a career-high for the outside hitter. The Blue Devils (7-2) returned Saturday against Michigan State and ultimately emerged victorious from a five-set match that was a nail-biter until the very end. Throughout the weekend, disciplined defense was key in supporting a courageous offense that found big swings even when Duke was fighting against a dominant Wolverine block. With several players nursing injuries, some younger Blue Devils found more playing time as the team developed its depth and proved just how dangerous the entirety of its roster is. It was a big weekend for Duke, and Ohio State is sure to be pleased with the result, too. -Leah Boyd

Field hockey

Duke had its first home weekend of the season, opening up on its fresh blue turf and debuting the Jim Sabiston Fieldhouse ahead of Sunday’s game. The Blue Devils (3-3) played Friday evening against Appalachian State, holding the Mountaineers off with a 2-1 win in overtime behind a solid game by Louisville transfer Charlie van Oirschot. On a rainy Sunday afternoon, however, they fell to William & Mary 2-1. Next weekend, Duke goes back on the road, with matchups Friday at Syracuse and Sunday at Colgate. -Suresh Kannoth

Men's golf

Duke kicked off its fall season with a stellar second-place finish out of 14 teams in the Rod Myers Invitational. Playing with home course advantage at the Duke University Golf Club, freshmen William Love and Ethan Evans both began their collegiate careers with 3-under, top-10 finishes. Duke was bested over three days of competition by only Alabama, which finished 11 strokes lower than the Blue Devils to claim first place. The squad will look to build on this strong start to the season beginning Sept. 19 at the Husky Invitational in Washington. -Robert Miron

Cross country did not compete this past week and will return to action Sept. 16 for both the Virginia Invitational in Charlottesville, Va., and the Adidas XC Challenge in Raleigh.


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